Does your car battery discharge frequently? Find out why:

If the battery of your car lives leaving you in the lurch and you are in the mood to solve the problem once and for all, you have come to the right place!  Today I will leave some simple tips on how to diagnose possible current leaks in automotive electrical systems in a simple and objective way.

Stay on!

Stealing battery charge, current leakage, how to test.
Something stealing battery charge from the car. Battery discharging.

If your car started having trouble discharging the battery quickly after a repair or installation of some accessory like alarm, tracker, multimedia center, DVD, Cd player, or anything else then probably the problem is out there…

But if this started out of nowhere, and you don’t know where to start the tests don’t panic! follow the tips carefully that will not get wrong.

Stand By – the villain

In cars there are hundreds of electrical accessories that even when the key is off and the car is not in use, they are there consuming energy discreetly.  The big problem is when any of these devices suffer damage to their electrical circuits over time, either by natural wear and tear of their internal components, poor installation, or water infiltrations and the like.

When an accessory has its standby regulator circuit damaged it can consume a much more voltage than normal and suddenly the car battery starts to discharge in a matter of stopped minutes.

The automotive accessories that most face this type of problem are:

  • First place: Sound amplifier modules / Bass Capacitors
  • Second place: Alarms, and remote lock systems / GPS trackers
  • Third place: Audio players – Mp3 players – DVD / CD player – Multimedia centers
  • Fourth place: Original accessories of the car itself, such as complimentary lights, relays that command door lights, door lights – suitcases among others.

No more talking – Let’s go to the practice tests

To come to a concrete conclusion of where the root of the problem is you will need some tools:

1: You will need a digital or analog multimeter with ammeter of at least 1 ampere.

Multimeter with amperimeter 10a
Digital multimeter with amperimeter of 10 amperes.

2: You will also need some keys to loosen the battery terminals of your car, you will need to check what the measurements of the screws of the battery terminals of your car, can be 10, 13, 11 or 12 mm.

The Test:

Measure power consumption in aper or amperes miliamperes car battery
Measure power consumption in aper or amperes/milliamperes in the car battery.

Before performing any battery discharge test of your car, be sure to turn off all electrical consumers of the vehicle, such as flashlights, courtesy lights, sound clock, everything you find ahead, and if it is possible to also leave the alarm in the mode ON that same, you did not get it wrong you will try to do the consumption test with the alarm in on mode just to get an idea of how is the consumption of the alarm on hold.

Step One: Turn off the positive terminal of the car battery, and at the battery pole place the red multimeter tip that at its end must be connected to the v/ma port of the multimeter.

Step two: Plug the black multimeter cable into the COM port of the device, and its tip you should connect to the terminal you disconnected from the battery.

Third step: Place the multimeter on the 200ma scale, which means two hundred millimetres, and notice its load consumption variation with everything turned off.  Energy consumption should normally not exceed 150 millims!  If you find a consumption of more than 150, or if the multimeter display shows only the digit 1, you have a consumption greater than 200 millimetres and must change the multimeter scale to 10A or ten amperes, and then change the red multimeter port V cable to port 10A/DC as well.

Ready! if the power consumption exceeds 200 millimetres the battery, you can already consider that there is a current fulga, and now you should remove fuse by fuse and observe the results on the screen of the multimeter, if after removing a fuse any power consumption download just then check which component the fuse protects, and you will probably find the accessory that is ” stealing the battery charge from your car “.

Make sure you always put the fuse you removed, where it was.  So always check one by one, and preferably ask for someone’s help so you can observe the multimeter screen for you!

Light of the glove compartment robing charge.
Practical example of chain leakage in cars: Glove compartment light switched directly by default on the switch.

Another detail: If even after removing all possible fuses the power consumption does not go down, then you will need to take more drastic actions and will have to turn off the alarm connector, after the sound, the amplicador module if it exists, and so on.  Also check carefully that all doors are closed, and trunk too, to prevent any courtesy light from being lit!

Good luck with your tests.  If you have any questions, or if you need help please contact us via the feedback form!  We will respond as soon as possible!  See you next time.

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